Is IBM’s Future Workforce In Africa?

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Written by Dana Sanchez

Africa’s growing workforce is of particular interest to IBM, which a year ago opened its 12th African research lab and has offices in 20 African countries, according to a report in Devex.com.

Opening its latest global research and development lab in sub-Saharan Africa (Nairobi, Kenya), IBM hopes to signal its ongoing business and philanthropic commitment to the continent, according to Tim Docking, who leads the company’s Emerging Market Funding group. Docking spoke last week on the sidelines of the Devex Impact Strategic Advisory Council meeting in Washington, D.C.

“By 2040, Africa will have the largest workforce on the planet, larger than China or India,” Docking said. “We see that population bulge, the young people coming into the economy, to be not only a business opportunity, but an area where we can find part of the future of our corporation.”

The company’s business goals in Africa are “robust,” Docking said. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty recently visited the continent.

People should view IBM’s expansion in Africa “as a sign of our intention to not only invest in new ideas and innovation, but to also develop local ideas to solve local problems,” Docking said.

Devex Impact, an online community for international development and peer networking, is a global initiative by Devex and USAID.